So, in honor of no jury duty for me...
Let's have no jury duty for Batman.
Clark looked at the little envelope in surprise.
"You're not going to try to get out of it?"
Bruce grimaced. "Everybody has to," he said patiently. "It's part of our justice system. Aren't you supposed to believe in that by the way?"
Clark rolled his eyes and reached for the milk. They were in the breakfast room, preparing for their day, both dressed in day-drag and reading their phones like the rest of America. It's just that Clark didn't expect anything so... pedestrian in the pile of domestic mail Alfred had brought Bruce that morning.
"I believe in it fine. I just don't think you--you in particular--are capable of participating in a fair, unbiased way."
Bruce gave him the side-eye. "And you are?"
Clark snorted. "Of course not! That's why I've had Diana hack the database and pull my name! It's only fair."
Bruce tilted his head. "You're cheating."
"I am not." But Clark shifted uncomfortably. He was. A little, yes. He was cheating. "But it's a small cheat to avoid a bigger one. I know if they're lying--I can tell if they're sweating, I may have even seen them commit the crime." He tried to control his runaway gestures. "So have you!"
"You know, it'll be fine. Don't worry. Odds are good my group won't even get called."
"Sure." If there was a bomb within a fifty mile radius, Bruce would be sitting on top of it when it blew up. If there was a call to jury duty, Bruce would DEFINITELY get called.
"I tell you what," Bruce said casually, taking a swallow of premium sustainable mountain blend. "I'll serve my civic duty, and I'll do it without intervening as Batman."
Clark's eyes narrowed. "What about as Bruce Wayne?"
"Bruce Wayne is a fair bet. Bruce Wayne has resources--"
"No giant mainframe computer with it's own server and secret encrypted routes to almost every public service," Clark said bluntly.
Bruce shrugged. "Sure."
"No going out and punishing criminals by night," Clark continued.
"You mean, other than normal."
Oh. Yeah. That would be hard to measure. But still... "If you run into someone you've been introduced to in the courtroom, that's fine. But no searching him out."
"And if you go in and get rejected for a jury and don't have to serve, you and I get a date."
Bruce raised his eyebrows. "In public?"
"I will take you someplace--anonymously--and we will have dinner and a view and sex."
"So my reward for not doing my civic duty is anonymous sex?"
Clark just stared at him. "As opposed to no sex of any flavor if you don't stop being an... uh... jerk."
"You can't even say asshole when you're not just boiling mad at me, can you." Clark gloated, secure as a cat by the hearth. "Deal. Trust me. You're going to have to spring for the big meal in the private chateau. It'll be great." He smiled the super disturbing Batman smile with extra teeth. "I'll see if I can get you to say asshole then."
Clark's flush actually heated the air around them both, and Bruce threw back his head and laughed.
Well, with any luck, he wouldn't even get called in.
Bruce looked at the jury website and sighed. Yes, he had to go in. He grabbed his briefcase and called a car to the courthouse, making sure to give his assistant all of the salient instructions for the rest of the day.
"What if you don't get called?" poor Stella asked, legitimately confused. It wasn't like Bruce to not milk all of the daylight out of a work day.
"If I don't get called in, I'll have plans," Bruce said smoothly. "But do be active on the com. I may have to... issue instructions, as it were."
Stella stared at him, appalled. "But... but... you can't tamper with the system!"
"I don't plan to tamper with the system," he said, patting her cheek. "I just plan to use my resources to make sure justice gets done."
An hour later, he was sitting in a room with a dozen other jurors getting quizzed to see if they thought the 20 year old who'd gotten popped for a pocketful of party drugs should go to prison for life.
"Do you think the defendant's youth will influence your decision?" asked the prosecuting attorney.
"It should," Bruce responded. "As should the severity of the crime. If we're about to ruin somebody's life for what won't even be illegal next month I think it's important that we take into consideration the entirety of what was committed."
"Juror number twelve, you're excused. Report back to the jury pool for another selection."
Bruce scowled at the prosecutor--and at the judge-- and stood up, walking briskly through the courtroom to the hall beyond, buttoning his jacket as he went.
And hitting the com in his ear.
"Stell, I need you to find an outstanding defense attorney and send him to room 1202, to minister to docket XJ289."
"Did you get all that?"
"Yes sir. What are my instructions for him?"
"The kid doesn't deserve to go to prison and to get him to do community service or something. He's being railroaded because prosecutor doesn't like party kids. It's gross. And since I'm not serving on the jury..."
"You can interfere. I understand sir."
"Be on standby for the next one."
The next one was a horror show.
"Wait," Bruce said as they were being seated. "That can't be the defendant in this case."
He recognized the young college student looking scared and vulnerable at the table.
"Looks like it," the juror next to him whispered. "Why?"
Bruce shook his head. He couldn't very well say Batman had actually caught the murderer and hung him from a streetlamp for all to see.
"Stella," he whispered into his com.
"Need another defense attorney--make it the best--my location stat."
But even stat, it wasn't soon enough to avoid answering questions.
"Sir, have you met anybody in this courtroom before?"
"Yes," Bruce answered. "I've seen the defendant on his way too and from his junior college classes." Usually late at night, as Batman watched his neighborhood. It sat on the border of a true den of drug addicts and criminals, separating them from the older, safer neighborhood on the other side. "He's kind to his neighbors, helps little old ladies across the street, and once found a kitten for a little girl in his building."
"And since I'm excused, why is he being charged with this crime? It's my understanding another person--somebody with deep ties to a local gang--had been found tied up with a bow and hanging from a streetlamp nearby!" It had been in the papers, dammit. Bruce had looked!
"Well, the district attorney made the consideration--"
Bruce scowled. Dammit, the one thing Two-Face had been was not a schmuck on the little guy.
"That since the guy hanging from the lamp sounded batshit crazy you could pin it on this guy who saw the whole thing? That's fair."
Bruce was aware that the kid was staring at him like he was a god.
"This is not your concern, Juror 14--"
"But it is! This kid doesn't belong here! He doesn't belong in jail! He doesn't belong in debt! All he did was make sure nobody in his neighborhood got hurt!"
"Juror 14, you can be charged with contempt of court if you continue to--"
"But he's innocent!" Bruce bit out, and he heard it.
There was Batman in his voice.
An hour later, his own attorney was bailing him out of jail.
"Contempt of court," William said dryly.
"They were assholes."
"And that's contemptuous."
"Look, did we get actual attorneys to the other two people?" he asked, irritable.
"Yes, yes we did. And you know what else we got?"
"A moratorium of Bruce Wayne serving jury duty any more. I swear, both judged and prosecutors almost shit their pants. It was lovely."
Bruce grimaced. "Where's the roof?"
"Why do you need the--"
"I've got an appointment. I don't want to be late."
Clark was doing that thing where he pointed one toe down and hovered a good six-inches off the surface of the ground.
"You interfered," he said severely.
"Not as Batman," Bruce answered.
"That's not true! You know the one defendant was innocent--"
"I k new he was innocent because I'm Batman. I intervened because I'm Bruce Wayne." Bruce smiled playfully. "Do I still get my date?"
Clark sighed and opened his arms. Bruce stepped into them and allowed himself to be enveloped in the red cloak.
"You going to teach me where my asshole is?" Clark whispered into his ear, and Bruce shuddered.
"Since you came to get me and let me win, sure," Bruce replied, leaning his head against Clark's shoulder. Then he smiled. "Besides. You know where your asshole is. He's right there, interfering in all the things he can."